"WorldSkills", the most important event worldwide on the theme of vocational training and education, stopped over in Leipzig, Germany between July 2 and July 7. Over 1,000 participants had registered for the professional WorldSkills contests – a new record in the 60-year history of this event. As a result, Germany had two reasons for celebration: firstly it was the host again, and secondly it broke the record for the number of participants. Groz-Beckert took the opportunity to organize an excursion for its apprentices to mark the occasion – after all, this was the first national opportunity to do so for over 40 years. That made it all the more exciting for the apprentices from Groz-Beckert KG to be there live at "WorldSkills", and also get to know the city of Leipzig at the same time!
There was a lot to do on this educational trip, from the very first day onwards. For the car and technology fans, a dream came true: the first highlight of the short trip was a tour of the BMW plant in Leipzig. Here the apprentices were able to take a behind-the-scenes look at production of the models BMW 1, BMW 1 Coupé, BMW 1 Cabrio and BMW X1 – and they were amazed to hear that the plant produces around 740 vehicles each day. The entire value chain was of course very interesting for the technical apprentices, from welding of the individual steel components into a chassis and painting it to designing car interiors precisely to customers' wishes.
But what would an excursion be without sightseeing? Those interested in culture found the tour of the city fascinating. The apprentices learned a lot about Leipzig's history as well as its famous buildings and sights, on a tour that took in the renowned Gewandhaus and the Opera as well as the Old Town Hall. The day was rounded off by a visit to the famous Nikolaikirche at the heart of the city, one of the locations of the "peaceful revolution" of 1989. This cultural highlight took the group to Leipzig's city center – where they went on to sample life at the heart of the city.
All the excitement of the first day was followed on day two by the event everyone was eagerly anticipating: "WorldSkills Leipzig 2013". Every two years, WorldSkills is attended by the best in the world, all competing for the world championship title in their respective fields. The exciting event gets everyone keen on joining in and awakes an interest in professional training: nowhere else do young people have the opportunity to experience so many professions close up, especially in such a competitive environment. Contests took place in a total of 46 professions, ranging from craft trades and technical activities to jobs in the services sector. The biggest contest took place in the profession "mechatronics engineer", with 35 teams of two respectively. The largest national came from France (46 participants), while Germany and Finland had the second-largest ones at 43 team members each. Leipzig was expecting around 200,000 visitors for the event – and the 120 apprentices from Groz-Beckert made up a large proportion of that figure. The apprentices can still be proud of that today!
The national sponsoring organization 'WorldSkills Germany' sees the world championships as an important inspiration for professional qualification in Germany and for promoting junior talent. The apprentices from Groz-Beckert who visited this event were certainly highly impressed, and their accounts of how exciting it was will certainly have a long-term influence on other young people from the region around Groz-Beckert's headquarters in Albstadt. After all, for many of them, a trip like this was a dream come true. Groz-Beckert proved once again that the training it offers young people is highly diverse, giving them memorable experiences at work as well as away from it!
A further exciting event where training is concerned is due in September: the next highlight of the year is the training fair "Visionen 2013" in Balingen, from September 26 – 28, 2013. Together with its apprentices, Groz-Beckert will be showing future school-leavers the numerous career and training opportunities it has to offer. And once again, the Groz-Beckert apprentice firm of Ledana GmbH, better known as "Next Generation", will have its own booth at the fair.
Would you be interested in an apprenticeship at Groz-Beckert? If so, just visit us at our booth! We look forward to seeing you.